Shakespeare’s birthday was celebrated this week, but the idea he didn’t write his plays won’t go away

“MR POWELL, sir, I have enjoyed your lecture to us on why Shakespeare could not in truth have been the author of the plays usually attributed to him, and that they must have been written by a highly educated man with an influential position at court. But I detect a theme in your arguments – snobbery. You just can’t accept that the most sublime dramatic poetry ever could have been written by the son of a Stratford Glover.”

Enoch Powell’s famous blue eyes flashed annoyance but he answered my question courteously. It was 1978 and he had just delivered a lecture to our school literary society on his theories about the real author of the plays.